Ok. This blog post will probably be split in multiple posts, because I have a definite opinion on what should and should not be acceptable at work.
I should preface this post by saying that no matter how old you are, how long you’ve been working in your current position, or if you’re a newbie right out of college, I beg you to read through, because I bet there are a few things in this post that will help you. Even if it’s something you might be guilty of doing (ahem, like moi) then maybe reading this will help bring attention to these areas and you’ll be able to work on it.
[Visualize me rolling my shoulders and rubbing my hands]
Daily/weekly staff meetings:
- Don’t be that person in a meeting that extends the meeting just so you can boast about your accomplishments. This happens ALL THE TIME. The end of a meeting is to ask questions to get clarity, or to find out if someone else has a particular issue you’re facing and to find a solution. It’s not a time to brag. It’s annoying and extends the meeting unnecessarily. And no one cares. (Read my blog about work-life balance.) If your objective is to get noticed for an accomplishment, make sure you do that with your boss….in private.
- Don’t be that person that asks questions that are not even in the periphery of what is being discussed. Don’t change the subject. Again, if that subject didn’t come up in the agenda, you’ll have time at the end of the meeting. But there’s a process to meetings, respect that. We sales people tend to be a little attention deficit, so I get that your stream of consciousness might not be aligned to the meeting, but please please please don’t derail the meeting to hear your own voice.
- If there is a problem, then yes, it’s perfectly fine to speak up. BUT please do so after considering some solutions. There’s nothing that irritates me more as when people complain without having found some plausible solutions. Otherwise, you’re just bitching, and no one likes that. If you have solutions, then you’re thinking like a boss.
Fact to Face meetings (like Sales Kick Off where you’re stuck in the same building with everyone from work for days and nights on end.)
- No matter how much you drank the night before, or how late you stayed up, if your boss beats you to the meeting room in the morning, you just lost credibility. If you’re “hungover” that’s your own fault, and you will suffer with it the next day, because no one made you that drunk to begin with. That’s your responsibility. Period.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re used to being in stretchy yoga pants when you work from home and like to cross your legs while working, that’s fine….AT HOME…. When you’re in these meetings, you are representing not only yourself, but your department, and your boss. Level up.
- At night, when there’s mandatory mingling, you have to actually mingle. The problem with people in general is we like our comfort zones. That makes us create cliques. The point of these meetings is to get to know the other departments and build interdepartmental trust and respect. Please get out of your comfort zone, walk around until you see someone you haven’t met before, and shake their hand confidently. Again, know what you are representing.
- What happens behind closed doors, by the goodness of all that is holy, should stay behind closed doors. But I bet you if it happened, everyone will find out within 4 hours of said situation occurring. C’est la vie. So if you’re going to be embarrassed about it the next day, just don’t do it to begin with.
- These meetings are sometimes high stress. You need to set your personal problems aside to work on later. I can’t tolerate people, especially girls, crying to their manager. Complaining here is fine, assuming you’re doing it privately, but openly crying (ugly tears and snot streaming down your face) is NOT ok. Go compose yourself, and address your manager when you’ve got control over that hot mess.
- If someone disagrees with you openly and starts to demean your position (yes, this happens quite a bit as well), the best thing you can do is to pause. Allow that person to say whatever he/she wants to say to the end. Then just pause a little more. Make it painfully awkward for them. Once the allotted time has passes where the bystanders start to look back and forth between you, you can smile pleasantly, and say “thank you for making your opinion very clear….perhaps you can expand on [insert actual issue you were originally talking about]”. There’s nothing like a good smack-down done in the classiest way possible.
If you have any more you’d like added to this list, then please post a comment! Remember, this is constructive criticism. Come with solutions!